Elderberry Extract | A Natural Alternative to the Flu Vaccine

Are you familiar with Sambucus nigra? What about “Elderberry?”—ahh, yes elderberry!

It’s well known, but not completely understood, and that is the basis behind our curiosity with this deciduous shrub.

We’ve talked about elderberry before with an herbal monograph to get specific on what the plant is capable of. This is a shrub or small tree has been used medicinally for thousands of years—even Hippocrates (the father of medicine) went as far as calling the Elderberry his personal “medicine chest.”

The Sambucus family shrubs and trees can grow all over the US, so it’s possible (and likely) that you aren’t far from an elderberry tree right now!

So I wondered: how could it be that a plant with such a long standing medicinal history, powerful healing properties, and of overwhelming abundance be utilized by those of us that want to focus on natural health solutions?

Is Elderberry a Natural Alternative to the Yearly Flu Vaccine?

During my curiosity quest, I came across a research project posted by the University of Maryland Medical Center and can be found in their Complementary and Alternative Medicine Guide. The introduction starts off like this:

“Elderberry has been used for centuries to treat wounds when applied to the skin… It is also taken by the mouth to treat respiratory illness such as cold and flu… Some evidence suggests that chemicals in elder flower and berries may help reduce swelling in mucous membranes, such as the sinuses, and help relieve nasal congestion. Elder may have Anti-inflammatory, Antiviral, and anticancer properties."

Fantastic! A major Medical Research Center like the University of Maryland, very cautiously, supports the use of Elderberry against Influenza. Okay, so let’s take a look at the next study we found on WebMD which happens to date back to 2003.

“A new study shows… Sambucol, a black elderberry extract, appears to short-circuit flu symptoms…” the article then proceeds with “A small study published five years ago showed that 93% of flu patients given Sambucol were completely symptom-free within two days; those taking a placebo recovered in about six days.”

This tells me there is scientific and medical research that validates the effectiveness of an Elderberry Extract combating the flu virus since 1998 at least!

We love it when the research supports the history of our plant allies.

We’re not a huge fan of the yearly flu vaccine because of the negative side effects that befall thousands of people that can scale between general lethargy and severe allergic reaction.

According to Dr. Russell Greenfield, medical director of Carolinas Integrative Health, black elderberry “can be given to children and adults with no known side effects or negative interactions.”

Elderberry Extract from ThePureWay

The combination of no negative side effects, effective protection against the flu virus, immune boosting during a cold, and a whole host of other health promoting actions has me asking another question:

Where can I get a great elderberry extract?

I searched for the perfect extract and by the end of the 2013 year, it was on ThePureWay website.

The Elderberry for our extract is Sambucus nigra. Like all of the ingredients in our products it is organically grown and sourced sustainably with the highest quality extract in mind.



If you’re not sure you want to try the powerful boost of antioxidants and minerals for the cold and flu season, check out what Daniel has to say about the extract he purchased:


Bought this last year when I heard about Elderberry on the Dr Oz show and I am Extremely Thankful I did! The flu was going around my job, and I was one of the only ones not to get it! Every time I felt something coming on I just took a couple drops of Elderberry and it kept me safe!"

Have you used Elderberry in the past? Tell us about your experience in the comments!


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